Table 1

Summary characteristics of the included studies

Study characteristicsn%Physician characteristicsn%Exposures, interventions and outcomesn%
Study design Gender Exposures (observational)* 45 96
Cross-sectional3472Reported 3881Fatigue related1532
Cohort613>50% male3079Sleep related3779
Before-after36 Age Overnight or extended shifts1838
RCT24Reported 3881 Interventions (experimental) 2 4
Time series12Range (years)20 to >70 Outcomes
Non-comparative12 Specialty area Physician health and well-being2860
Region and country Surgeons1328Work and life satisfaction919
North America2043Anesthesiologists1021Burn-out715
Canada49ED or ICU physicians36Mental health and well-being715
Canada, USA and Mexico12Oncologists24Other health-related outcomes511
Europe1634Obstetrician-gynaecologists12Physician performance, risk of error2145
France49Mixed groups1430Psychomotor performance715
Finland36 Work setting § Work ability and quality of care511
Spain24Hospitals3779Incidence of medical errors511
Austria24Private practice1328Surgical efficiency, effectiveness613
Norway24Primary care centres, outpatient clinics715Patient outcomes613
Denmark12Academic practice, training programmes511
Germany12Other (eg, industry, military)1123
Malta12Not reported36
Japan49 Urban or rural
Australia24Reported 1634
New Zealand24Rural213
  • *Exposures that have been directly related to an outcome. Some studies included multiple exposures.

  • †Percentages presented using the total number of studies where the outcome was reported as the denominator.

  • ‡Anesthesiologists include physician anaesthetists; generalists include primary care physicians, internists and general practitioners; mixed groups refers to studies including more than one physician group or specialty (usually large-scale surveys). In some studies, multiple distinct groups were represented.

  • §As defined by the authors. Values for the settings will exceed 100% because studies may occur in more than one setting.

  • ED, emergency department; ICU, intensive care unit; RCT, randomised controlled trial.